WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN A TRAFFIC COLLISION
Every year in Anchorage, police officers respond to thousands of traffic collisions. Most of these crashes result in property damage only. About 15% result in injuries to somebody involved in the crash. Here are some pointers on what to do if you are involved in a collision.
- Assess yourself and everyone in your vehicle for injuries. If someone in your car is injured, try to stay calm. Do not leave the vehicle unless you see that staying in the vehicle might be more hazardous than getting out, such as the vehicle smoking heavily, an air bag deployment or you can see flames.
- Check with the occupants of other vehicles to see if anyone else is injured. Give assistance as needed.
- Report the collision to the police. In Anchorage, the number is 786-8500 for non-emergency response and 911 for emergency response. You should only dial 911 if someone is injured. According to Municipal Ordinance 09.10.060A, any collision involving injury must be reported immediately, or if the combined damage to all vehicles and property involved is greater than $500. It is the driver's responsibility to report the collision, unless the driver is incapacitated. In that case, the responsibility falls to passengers. 4. If nobody is injured and the combined damage is less than $500, and all parties involved come to a mutual agreement to forego a police report, the parties can exchange information and go their separate ways. If a report is later required or requested, one or more of the parties can complete a citizen’s report form. This form is available under the Forms tab on the left.
- While waiting for the police to arrive, gather up the information the officer will need. This includes your driver’s license, the vehicle registration, and the proof of insurance for the vehicle. This information will be used for the collision report and will be exchanged with the other drivers.
- Unless there is injury and/or the vehicles are unmovable due to damage, the roadway needs to be cleared for safety of you and other motorists. Pull off the roadway into a parking lot, onto a side street or other safety zone. Provide this location and your vehicle description to the police dispatcher.
Remember, the best preparation for a collision is to avoid it. Keep your speed within the posted limits and allow for ample room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Do not respond to aggressive behaviors by other motorists. Also, allow for plenty of time to get to your destination so you are not tempted to rush.